The new normal has become, well, normal. But what happens ... next? This week, we’ve got some strategies to deal with the anxiety about what happens when things change again. And if you need a break from cooking, we’ve got some great takeout spots in the suburbs. But before we get there:

  • We’ve got the best online events and streams this week, including Obama talking to high school grads and the Vote that Jawn house party. Get the full list at inquirer.com/calendar.
  • Our kids calendar will keep your kids occupied when you’re trying to work. It’s updated every Sunday morning with activities for the week: inquirer.com/kidscalendar. Need more ways to keep the kids distracted? Here’s a roundup of activities for kids, from toddlers to teens.
  • How to do (everything) better: Everything you need to know about living right now is all here in one place: inquirer.com/topic/do-this

Stay healthy, stay safe, and, as much as possible, stay home.

The Yardley hot chicken is one of the most popular takeout items from Charcoal BYOB.
Mark Plescha
The Yardley hot chicken is one of the most popular takeout items from Charcoal BYOB.

Your questions, answered

Do this

We’re getting the hang of our new normal. But what about the next one? There’s — understandably — a creeping anxiety about what our lives will look like on the other side of this, when we move into the yellow phase, and more of our communities start to open up. Elizabeth Wellington found some great strategies to help cope with that next set of unknowns.

  • Control what you can. Keep washing your hands, and wearing a mask. This will help you find a level of comfort because you are doing your best to keep yourself and your family healthy.
  • Let go of what you can’t. Try not to judge how others act, and practice gratitude instead. “Trying to control things you can’t control just makes everything worse,” said Thea Gallagher, an assistant professor at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at Penn Medicine.
  • Don’t dwell on the worst-case scenario. You have to believe your diligence will pay off. “Watch out for the group mentality,” said Steven Rosenberg, an Elkins Park-based behavioral therapist. “That fosters negativity and it will paralyze you.”
  • Watch and wait. This is a time to know your boundaries, said Richard Orbe-Austin a New York-based psychologist. Don’t rush yourself back. Do what feels right for you. "We all are tasked with doing what’s best for us and not being afraid to advocate for ourselves when we feel uncomfortable.”

For more useful ways to handle our unique anxiety right now, read Elizabeth’s full piece.

Eat and drink this

Happy hour is about to get happier. The big news this week: The cocktails-to-go bill passed the Pennsylvania Senate, and is on its way to Gov. Wolf to become law. Which means, as Mike Klein writes: “An icy margarita with your to-go order of tacos is close to becoming a reality." Cheers to that.

Another bright spot, if you need a break from the kitchen and your takeout go-tos need a refresh: Craig Laban compiled your favorite takeout spots in the Philly suburbs and South Jersey. Among them:

  • Montgomery County: Ripplewood, Bluefin, and Po Le
  • Bucks County: Charcoal BYOB, Domani Star, and Pineville Tavern
  • Chester County: Andiario, Mi Pais, and Estrella Tacos y Mas
  • Delaware County: Margaret Kuo’s and Gennaro’s Italian Kitchen
  • South Jersey: Sagami, Mount Masala Himalayan, and The Farm & Fisherman Tavern

Read why, and what to order, in Craig’s mouthwatering roundup.

Answer this

We’re wondering: When things start to return to normal (or whatever the next kind of normal looks like), what won’t you go back to? What parts of your life from before do you want to let fall away? Whether you’re going to keep feeding that sourdough starter in lieu of supermarket loaves, you’re going to leave the gray hair, or you’re not going back to something else from your pre-pandemic life, we want to hear about it. Tell us about it here.